In lieu of a blog today, I encourage those in the area of Jonesborough, Tennessee to come by and enjoy a fun weekend of storytelling at the 40th Annual National Storytelling Festival.
I will be telling stories and signing books at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, October 7, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
David Bowles, On the Road Again
I am looking forward to seeing storytelling friends and readers at the 40th Annual National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee the first weekend in October. It is the perfect setting to launch my next book and the story of the Children of the Revolution.
Book 3, Children of the Revolution in the Westward Sagas series is simultaneously being introduced in Jonesborough, Johnson City, and Greeneville during National Storytelling Week. East Tennessee is where many patriot soldiers settled after the American Revolution. Children of the Revolution is about their progeny, America’s first generation coming of age in Washington and Greene Counties.
Well known pioneers; David Deaderick, Dr. William Chester, Nicholas Fain, Christopher Taylor, Adam Mitchell, Reverends Doak, Balch, and Witherspoon all played important roles in settling the area. All are characters in the 100-year odyssey of the Westward Sagas series that includes Book 1, Spring House; Book 2, Adam’s Daughters; and Book 3, Children of the Revolution.
All events I will be participating in below are open to the public and free of charge. Hope to see you at one of the events.
The week starts with a TV appearance on the “Daytime Tri-Cities” Show with Amy Lynn and Morgan King, Tuesday morning, October 2. This will be my second appearance on their show and a great group they are at WJHL/CBS affiliate.
A book signing and reception at the Historic General Morgan Inn in Greeneville, Tennessee on Wednesday, October 3, 2-4 p.m.
Storytelling and book signing at Gracious Designs in Johnson City, Tennessee, Thursday, October 4, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by afternoon tea.
Book signing in the Jonesborough Visitors Center, Thursday, October 4, 1:30-5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, October 7, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Click for additional Appearances.
On a flight from Austin to San Diego, the pilot announced “if you look out the left window, you can see the Grand Canyon.” Seated on the right side of the plane, I stretched to catch a glance, but only saw desert lands. A kind stewardess (that’s what they were called then) asked if I would like to move to a seat on the left. Through that small plexiglass portal, I intently watched as the 266 mile long canyon disappeared behind the plane. I made a promise that when my tour of duty with the U.S. Navy was up, I would explore the Grand Canyon.
Many years later, here I am. I took the Grand Canyon train from Williams AZ, to the canyon transferring to a bus for a tour of the South Rim that included lunch. One evening, I drove to Mather Point to watch the sun set. The canyon walls and floor, one mile below the rim, became a kaleidoscope of ever changing colors as the sun slowly faded away. Twilight brought a refreshing breeze; suddenly deer appeared only a few yards behind me, grazing on the sparse vegetation. I sat quietly watching them, glad that I kept the promise. Next blog – Room With a View.
SUNSET AT THE GRAND CANYON
My father told me many times a sad story of Granddad Bowles trying to get out of the sheep business. Recently Cousin Les Bowles of Marble Falls, told the same story and it became a very funny story. Cousin Les is a good storyteller and the reason is that one of his friends in the fertilizer business for many years was Jerry Clower of Yazoo, MS. Jerry used his storytelling ability to sell chemical fertilizer and became a nationally known storyteller that sold millions of comedy albums. Les continued to sell fertilizer, but while working with Jerry, he learned to turn a tale of woe into a humorous story.
During the Depression, Granddad had many sheep and with no market for several years they multiplied. Hearing there were buyers in Fort Worth, he decided to herd them into Austin, the nearest railhead 30 miles south. Leonard East had a wagon yard on East Second, not far from the Congress Avenue bridge. It would take several days to get to Austin, starting down Bee Creek Road, then Bee Caves Road. It had to be a sight all those wooly critters crossing the bridge. Once at the rail yard in Austin, they were loaded and shipped to the Union Stockyard in Fort Worth.
Granddad received a bill for freight and no check. He received a letter that said, “I am sorry to inform you that the sale of your sheep did not cover the freight charges, this invoice is for the difference that you owe.” Granddad wrote back that he didn’t have any money to pay the bill, but he had found some more sheep that he would be glad to trade for what was owed. He got a prompt reply from the railroad agent that said “Let’s just call it even.”
Les made a lighthearted story out of Depression Era hard times. That is what storytelling is all about. Thanks Cousin for sharing the story.
The first book in the Westward Sagas was named Spring House because most of the important scenes in the story took place in a spring house.
My grandparents, whom I discussed in my last post, also had a spring house. It was no longer in use, but I remember exactly how the native rock structure looked. I thought it was pretty cool, and it was. Cool spring water came out of a natural flowing spring running inside the structure by way of troughs that allowed the spring water to slowly trickle down the man-made trace into a pool of water twelve to eighteen inches deep. My parents told me how Grandmother would place the crocks of butter, milk, and eggs in the circulating water to keep them cool.
Granddad eventually bought an ice box, which eliminated running to the spring house on the creek for a glass of milk. The ice box worked pretty well when the local ice man came by twice a week during summer months to replenish the quickly melting ice. The residents along the Pedernales River called on their congressman and neighbor Lyndon Johnson to get electricity to the area like the folks in the city had. His support for the Rural Electrification Project earned him a lifetime of praise and support for his efforts.
It was an exciting day when Granddad switched that light switch on for the first time. An electric refrigerator soon replaced the ice box, no-longer-needed kerosene lamps were stored in the ice box, and the spring house became just a cool place to be after a hard day of work or a place for the grandchildren to play. The word spring house and ice box would become obsolete.
Look for words next week that have been recycled to mean something other than their original intent. You might be surprised.